The 19th International Triennial Symposium of the International Society for Tropical Root Crops (ISTRC) will provide an opportunity for scientists from all over the world to contribute to transforming the global agri-food systems.

Root crops, as a sub-sector in agriculture and food systems, have for a long time received inadequate policy attention thus limiting their potential contribution to food and nutrition security of millions of households.

This has also delayed the benefits that can be realized from the climate resilience potential of some of the value chains in this sub-sector. Root and Tuber crops provide up to 20% of calories for human consumption in many African countries and are second to cereal crops as an important source of dietary calories.

With the reality of climate change and pronounced food insecurity in many parts of the continent, there is a renewed focus on the potential of Root Crops to act as buffer against the efforts of climate variability on the food and nutrition security needs of many households.

Other innovations in Root Crop research and development hold the potential to contribute to agro-processing and manufacturing.

The symposium to be held in Africa for the first time under the theme “Technological and business innovations for strengthening root and tuber crops for resilient food, nutrition and industrial systems towards sustainable economic development” is organized by the AATF, the Government of Kenya and the ISTRC, provides an opportunity for scientists from around the world to showcase the latest technologies, products, and services and to create new ideas and partnerships for various stakeholders.

The guest speaker is Hon. Mithika Linturi, Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture and Livestock Development, Republic of Kenya. Other speakers during the opening ceremony will include Dr. Canisius Kanangire, AATF Executive Director, Professor Lateef Oladimeji Sanni, The President, ISTRC, Susan Kaaria, Director, AWARD, Emmanuel Okogbenin, Director, Program Development & Commercialization, AATF, and First Vice President of the 19th ISTRC and Dr. Paul Demo, CIP Director for Africa.